Posted Jan 31, 2013 by Gym Source in Trainer Spotlight and tagged personal trainer, women's fitness specialist.

Woman’s Fitness Specialist Certification: What's in it for You?

Many personal trainers get certifications in specialized fields such as sports conditioning and weight management to complement the training they already have. These trainers become the go-to experts for clients with specific needs. One of the newest, and most useful, training programs in the industry is Woman’s Fitness Specialist (WFS) certification.

A WFS credential can be a great asset to a trainer’s career, since studies show that women in health clubs seek professional fitness guidance in greater numbers than do men. In fact, the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), reports that more than 50% of all female gym members use personal training services. But female clients have unique fitness needs, and those needs change dramatically based on the phase of a woman’s life. That being said, WFS certification can help you understand and better serve female clients of all ages.

A WFS credential also helps trainers create individualized training programs for specific needs. For example, post-pregnancy, many new mothers are eager to lose excess “baby weight” quickly—perhaps too quickly than what’s healthy. With WFS training, trainers learn how to apply individual, circuit and group training to this unique time in a woman’s life—helping their clients stay strong, motivated, and managing their weight in a healthy way.

A trainer with WFS certification will have an understanding of:

  • Scientifically based concepts and recommendations related to training women – with special consideration given to the female physique, muscle mass and hormonal shifts.
  • How to modify exercise for pregnant clients for safe positioning and comfort, especially those in their second and third trimesters.
  • How to consider and adapt to needs of women of all ages – for example, adolescents may focus primarily on weight loss and older women may be more focused on post-menopausal health issues (such as bone strength).
  • Women’s nutritional needs, including vegan and vegetarian diets.  Also, the warning signs of eating disorders.

There are a few institutions that currently offer a WFS Certification program.  The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) offers a Woman’s Fitness Specialist certification course online. Also, the International Fitness Professionals Association (IFPA) offers a distance-learning Women’s Fitness Specialist Certification Course, as well.

Finally, the American Fitness Professional and Associates (AFPA) organization doesn’t offer a specific WFC certification, but does have a Pre/Post Natal Exercise Specialist Certification Course – for trainers who want to specialize in needs for pre and post natal clients.

The WFS credential is ideal for any trainer working with women in a health and fitness setting. This specialized expertise could help boost your client list and training career over the long-term.


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